Cleaning Cast-Iron Cookware

Cast-iron cookware has a tendency to rust if it is not kept properly seasoned. Some cast-iron cooking utensils come from the factory already sealed, but most will have to be seasoned before their first use. Season cast-iron cookware in the traditional way: Scour cast-iron pots with a steel-wool soap pad, rinse, then wipe the inside of the pot with vegetable oil, place it in a warm oven for two hours, and wipe off the excess oil. Repeat this procedure periodically and whenever rust spots appear.

A couple other things to consider:

  • Wash cast-iron cookware in hot sudsy water, then dry it thoroughly, and store in a dry cupboard without its lid in place.

  • Never wash cast-iron cookware in the dishwasher; it will remove the seasoning and cause rust.

Like cast iron, clay and enamel cookware have some unique cleaning requirements. Keep reading to find out about these requirements.